Showing posts from December, 2013

Christmas is about Hope

Beyond the glittering lights on Orchard Road and the sound of carols at shopping malls, I reflect on the meaning of Christmas. Clearly, it means different things to different people. For millions of Christians from all traditions, it is a celebration of God’s kindness and love in the birth of Jesus Christ whom they acknowledge as Lord and Saviour. For others, it is the beginning of the year-end holidays – a time to give and receive, a time to party and have a good time. For me this Christmas, the word HOPE keeps popping up. HOPE, aptly described as the little voice you hear whisper “maybe” when it seems the entire world is shouting “no”. It is a powerfully positive emotion and in many instances it is the kindest gift of all. I found this in Unbroken , a powerful World War II story of Olympian Louie Zamperini who survived some 40 days on a raft in the Pacific Ocean without food and water, and more than two years as a POW. Clearly, it was HOPE that kept him and his friends a

An American Perspective on Kindness in Asia

In August this year, at the Opera Estate Street Party, I met Darrin Couch and his wife, Dominica Kim. He hails from Tallahassee, Florida in the United States and has worked in many countries in the Asia Pacific region and lived in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and South Korea over the last 20 years. He is an Account Executive looking after Global Accounts for Hewlett-Packard and is married. They have resided in Singapore since July 2011 and they love good food in Singapore, walking around the East Coast Park and learning about local customs. Here is his perspective on kindness in Asia. I am an American who spent the last 20 years living and working in many countries in Asia. I have enjoyed my time living in Asia and met and married my wife, Dominica, while I was working in Seoul, Korea. We have lived in Singapore for the last 2 years and it feels like home. Recently, I met Dr. Wan at a Big Makan event and he asked me to share my perspective on kindness. And I am very glad to